HABITAT- Nature in Our Yard


ARCTUROS designed and implemented the three-year program "HABITAT (VIOTOPOS) - Nature in Our Yard" with the exclusive donation of the "Stavros Niarchos" Foundation and under the auspices of YPAITHPA.

The program involved the development of environmental awareness activities and experiential education for children and adolescents, through the creation of standard Botanic Gardens.

ARCTUROS offered in 15 high schools and senior high schools and 5 Institutions of Vulnerable Social Groups, throughout Greece, a substantial teaching experience oriented toward natural environment and its conservation, care, and development principles.
After ARCTUROS briefed students, teachers, guests and employees of the Institutions on the micro-environments that would be created in the schoolyards, it actively involved them in the creation of gardens, in collaboration with specialized teams, from the planing process to the planting process and the aesthetics of the gardens.

The creation of these Gardens was a valuable "tool" in the field of Environmental Education, playing a key role in the development of attitudes, behaviors and skills necessary to solve the major environmental problems of the planet.

The program "HABITAT- Nature in Our Yard":

  • taught to children and teenagers the importance of plants for human life and the ecosystems of the planet,
  • familiarized with the world of plants and highlighted the importance of maintaining Greece's native wild flora,
  • transmitted information on the protection of biodiversity and endangered plantation,
  • raised awareness on environmental protection,
  • transmitted the importance of basic biological concepts and procedures in everyday life: biodiversity, wild flora, forest ecosystems mechanisms,
  • εencouraged participation in creative and group activities, such as the creation of a garden, and artistic intervention (painting large surfaces in schools and institutions),
  • helped children to appropriate the school premises with in order to take care of them and feel them as a space of creativity and learning,
  • transformed schools into elegant spaces to be a pleasant learning environment.

The botanical gardens followed 5 thematic models:

  1. Bear Habitat
  2. Wolf Habitat
  3. Trees which prefer Water
  4. Trees which decelerate Fire
  5. Habitats with Aromatic plants

A staff of qualified partners of ARCTUROS-scientists (forester, biologist, agronomist, educator, artist) worked on the most complete realization of the program.

We in ARCTUROS believe that BIO-sites that we create are real life places for educational institutions, not only during the phase of construction but in the future, as we hope that the gardens will be "occupied" by representatives of fauna and avifauna and so nature will actually come in the schoolyards.

All news and developments in the program could be followed through ARCTUROS blog while at the "HABITAT- Nature in Our Yard" facebook page one can find plenty of photographs and information.

List of schools and participating institutions

1st EPAL of Kamatero (Athens)
10th High School of Peristeri (Athens)
1st High School of Magoula (West Attiki)
3rd High School Aspropirgos (West Attiki)
50th High School Athens (Athens)

2nd Lyceum Eleutheriou-Kordeliou (West Thessaloniki)
1st Lyceum – 31st High School of Thessaloniki

Complex of EPAL, EPAS and SEK
1st High School of Argos Orestiko

Lyceum of Amintaio

Complex of 1st and 2nd Lyceum of Ptolemaida

1st High School of Grevena

High School of Polisito

Complex of 3rd and 9th High School of Trikala

Music School of Karditsa

Institutions of Vulnerable Social Groups

  • "Philemon" Christian Rehabilitation Centre, Thebes, "Trees which decelerate Fire", 100 square meters
  • Thessaloniki Girls' Orphanage "I MELISSA (THE BEE)", Thessaloniki, "Trees which prefer Water", 100 square meters
  • Aspres Petaloudes (White Butterflies) - Enhanced and closed care Institution for heavily mentally diseased persons (with secondary psychiatric disorders), Volos, "Trees which prefer Water", 100 square meters
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre of Florina-KEKYAmeA, Florina, "Bear Habitat", 100 square meters
  • Boarding School "Alkyonis", Care Centre for Family and Child, Kapandriti, Attiki, "Aromatic Plants and Herbs", 100 square meters